When Adidas first confirmed a deal with rap mogul Kanye West at the end of 2013, there weren’t many who thought the partnership would necessarily last, or lead to further collaboration. But fast-forward to 2016 and Adidas and West have agreed to a new deal, which includes a new ‘YEEZY’ line catering to both men and women, featuring athletic gear and accessories.
But that’s not all. The new deal is said to be the largest deal Adidas has ever made with a non-athlete, and will make way for Adidas + Kanye West retail stores, in hopes of creating even more revenue for the sportswear brand.
Now it really isn’t all that surprising that Adidas has chosen to invest even more into Kanye West, considering their past collaboration, the Yeezy Boost 350, was named ’Shoe of the Year’ in 2015 by Footwear News. It was this feat which also earned the always confident and controversial West the title of ‘King of Shoes’ making it clear that regardless of whether you love or hate him, West is the best thing to happen to Adidas in a long time.
Which begs the question, how long will it last? It’s clear Adidas is hoping to use its partnership with West to the fullest, and take advantage of his celebrity status in order to establish itself as the top sportswear brand against rival Nike, which West interestingly enough also had a previous partnership with. But just because a new deal has been made, doesn’t mean it will work as well as Adidas is hoping…. or at all for that matter.
Adidas CMO Eric Liedtke explained the partnership between Adidas and West, stating that “With adidas + KANYE WEST we are exploring new territories by opening up the sports world to Kanye’s creativity.”
But will West’s creativity be positively received? While his previous collaborations, not only with Adidas but Nike and Louis Vuitton were a hit, it is entirely possible a new line may be somewhat of a letdown, especially if just one aspect of the creative process is not done to its fullest potential.
Ultimately, regardless of where you stand on the topic, there is no denying that this new partnership with the infamous Kanye West could make or break Adidas.